Chemists disprove Duterte claim gasoline may be used as disinfectant

By: Darryl John Esguerra - Reporter / @DJEsguerraINQ - Inquirer.net | July 31,2020 - 08:30 PM

MANILA, Philippines — Gasoline must not be used as a disinfectant as it is harmful to the body, a group of chemists told the public Friday after President Rodrigo Duterte recommended its use as an alternative to hand sanitizers.

According to the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP), gasoline is harmful to the body especially if inhaled.

“Pinapaalalahanan ng ICP ang lahat na HINDI ginagamit ang gasolina upang gawing panlinis o disinfectant ng mga bagay-bagay. Makasasama ito sa tao lalo na kapag nalanghap ang singaw nito,” the group said in a facebook post.

In a speech aired Friday morning, Duterte said he was not joking when he urges the public to use gasoline as disinfectant against the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19.

“Totoo ‘yang sinabi ko. Alcohol, ‘pag walang alcohol na available magpunta ka lang diyan sa gasoline station pagkatapos mag ano magpatulo ka. That’s disinfectant. Alcohol, gaas,” Duterte said.

“Magpatulo ka lang ng ano just to disinfect. Ang akala nitong mga buang na nagsabi sa akin si Duterte…Para sa inyo, sa hindi nakakaintindi, sa totoo lang hindi ako nagbibiro. Totohanan ‘yun. akala ninyo nagbibiro lang ako. Pero sa totoo hindi ako nagbibiro,” he added.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry of the United States, gasoline is “a mild skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritant.”

Ingestion of gasoline causes mild to severe irritation to the gastrointestinal mucosa or the mucous membrane layer of the stomach, it added.


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